Have Americans' attitudes toward immigration stayed the same or changed over the past 130 years? please i need help in a thesis statement for this question.. i'm doing a 5 paragraph essay on this...

Have Americans' attitudes toward immigration stayed the same or changed over the past 130 years?

please i need help in a thesis statement for this question.. i'm doing a 5 paragraph essay on this tomorrow and i need a thesis statement please help.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This is, of course, to some extent a matter of personal opinion.  My own view is that attitudes towards immigration have largely stayed the same over the past 130 years.  If I were to write a thesis statement on this, I would say something like “Attitudes towards immigration have generally stayed the same in the United States over the past 130 years, changing only with changing levels of immigration.”

What this means is that I believe that attitudes towards immigration tend to be similar at all points in our history when there are similar levels of immigration.  Attitudes towards immigration today when there are relatively many immigrants are very similar to attitudes in the 1920s when there were also many immigrants.  Attitudes during the 1950s and 1960s, for example, were different, but this is largely because there were very few immigrants in those decades.

If I were writing this essay, I would focus on the idea that Americans have tended to have similar fears about immigrants across time.  Whenever immigration is high, Americans worry that America is changing.  They become nativistic and protective of the old ways.  They fear that the immigrants do not want to become American.  They fear that immigrants bring all sorts of negative social conditions with them.  These concerns are seen today in attitudes towards Hispanic immigrants just as they were seen in attitudes towards Italian and Jewish immigrants in the early 1900s. 

Some things about immigration have changed.  The origins of immigrants have changed.  There is now the issue of illegal immigration where such a thing did not really exist before.  Even so, general attitudes towards immigration have, in my view, stayed largely similar over the past 130 years of American history.

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